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PUNAKHA

The region that secures Bhutan the title of "Kingdom in the Clouds"

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The first sight of Punakha leaves you with a picture of terraced rice fields shrouded in low lying cloud cover alongside traditional architecture. It is an expansive valley with clusters of villages with a mighty river cutting through the valley floor.

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Escaped the confines of the hotel one early morning and ventured to the countryside to catch a glimpse of the village waking up and setting in motion a day in an agrarian village. As the mist lifted I noticed that every house in the village has gardens with flowers bursting in colour and fragrance in the yard along with fruit bearing plants like papaya and oranges and is surrounded by rice fields.

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THE PUNAKHA DZONG also known as "The Palace of Happiness"

Built at the confluence of Mo chhu and Pho chhu rivers - the Punakha Dzong is easily blessed in location. Add to it stunning architecture and you have the most beautiful example of Bhutanese architecture.

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The inside courtyard is decorated with beautiful Bhutanese iconographies. Through these murals, you get to understand and learn about Buddhist ways and lessons. There are three courtyards and each is connected by a series of passageways that lead you all over the Dzong. Half of the building hosts the religious order and the remaining half is occupied by the local administration. You see young monks all over the place. The boys are apparently taught a variety of subjects including math and are introduced to the monastery lifestyle in order to see if they want to join the religious order and become monks.

FUN FACT : The King of Bhutan throws a party at the palace every year and all of the people in Bhutan are invited! That would definitely be a party no one would want to miss.

IMPORTANT :

Any tourist going beyond Thimphu and Paro need to acquire a 'special area permit' from the RGoB Immigration. Especially if you intend on visiting Punakha, Bumthang or the Haa valley. The tour operators can arrange for this.

Tashi Delek

Posted by Ceej 13:39 Archived in Bhutan Tagged palace of rice mist terrace happiness rafting cloud dzong punakha

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